Gresham Police Detectives, working with fraud investigators from the State Department of Human Services, have unraveled a large check-writing operation that had used a DHS account to steal tens of thousands of dollars.
Police arrested Andrew Jarod Prevost, 37, of Portland and charged him with Aggravated Theft I, Aggravated ID theft and Forgery I. He was lodged in Multnomah County Detention Center after a search warrant conducted at his residence in the 12000 block of SE Bush, Portland.
The ring was discovered when DHS fraud investigators noted unusual activity on a DHS account and were in contact with Gresham Detective Brandon Crate. Through investigation, Crate was able to identify the main suspect as Prevost. Detectives believe Prevost created nearly 100 counterfeit payroll checks using the DHS account number, and defrauded the account of nearly $140,000.
Detectives served a search warrant on July 10, 2013 at a residence in the 12000 block of SE Bush in Portland that Prevost shares with his girlfriend and recovered substantial evidence linking the two to the scheme. Detectives were able to identify over 60 suspects acting under Prevost's direction who were cashing fraudulent checks using legitimate identification. The transactions occurred all around the Portland Metro area. Most of the transactions occurred at Walmart in Portland and Vancouver. Walmart officials are assisting police with the investigation.